FATE DID NOT LET ME GO: A Triumph Of The Human Spirit In History's Darkest Hour

A Letter of Hope

“A mother’s farewell letter to her son.”

Written by Valli Ollendorff to her son Ulrich on August 24, 1942 just days before her death in the Thereseinstadt concentration camp, this remarkable letter embodies a mother’s unconditional love for her child.

With words full of joy and appreciation, Valli accepts her destiny, celebrates the lasting strength of family and reassures her son that good will triumph over evil.

Lost for nearly half a century, the letter was discovered in South America and delivered to Ulrich in 1985 when he was 79 years old.

LetterFor years, the letter remained a family secret and was shared with only a few relatives and friends.  When Ulrich died on December 30, 1998, the family asked the Rabbi to read the letter at the eulogy. The impact of the letter was so great that the family realized it was much more than a private letter.  It was a letter that could inspire every soul it touched.

In that spirit, the Ollendorff family has agreed to publish the letter and donate the proceeds to charity to promote human and religious understanding around the world.


Letter“My beloved, my good boy, within two days we are going away from here, and the future lies so dark in front of us that the thought comes up that the new place will be the last one which we reach on our migration.  And if you will hold this letter in your hands, then we are not chased from place to place, then all the suffering will have an end.  Peace will then be around us and in us.  Be happy that I have this rest and this peace, my good boy, and don’t be too sad.”

“Carry the knowledge through your life that you were a source of purest joy for your parents.”

“I wish your life will go from success to success and that you stay so good, so modest, and so grateful for all the good and beautiful things like you did already as a child.  We wish for you to have with your child as much joy as we had with you.  May the blessings, which I pray for you, come true.”

“Today I repeat to you and I know that you will understand me, I was and I am daily happy even longing very much for you and your life.  However, fate did not let me go.”

“And now my beloved boy, I will take leave from you.  I will thank you a thousand times for all the love, for all the gratitude, for all the joy and sunshine which you brought into your father's and my life, starting from the day of your birth.  May the memory of your parent's house and your childhood shine like a bright, lucky star over you, my beloved, good, precious boy.”

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